Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a very common eye problem. It causes blurred vision at all distances. It usually occurs when the corneas are ‘rugby ball shaped’.

As a condition it can make a multitude of tasks more difficult – from close work like reading, to distance tasks like driving or watching television. Because of this, many people with astigmatism suffer sore or tired eyes from over-straining them. Headaches are also a common symptom.

It is thought that the condition is inherited, so you are more likely to be astigmatic if one or both of your parents has the condition. However, it can also occur as a result of an eye injury that causes scarring on the cornea, and may also come about as a result of the eye condition keratoconus.

This condition was previously untreatable with surgery. But thanks to the advanced techniques we now have available many people affected can enjoy freedom from glasses and contact lenses.
 

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The symptoms

Unlike short sightedness (which only affects distance vision) and long sightedness (which mainly affects close-up vision), astigmatism affects both distance and close vision. So if you notice objects at all distances seem blurry, this may be the reason.
 

Understanding astigmatism

To understand the condition, it first helps to understand how the eye works.

It is a refractive error caused by an imperfection in the eye – usually in the cornea (the clear front ‘window’ of the eye), but sometimes in the lens. The imperfection changes the way your eye focuses the light rays that pass into it. This can happen when:

  • The cornea is an oval ‘rugby ball’ shape rather than a round soccer ball shape
  • The lens is an oval ‘rugby ball shape’, rather than a round ‘soccer ball shape’

When either of these imperfections occur, it means the light that enters your eye doesn't have a single point focus. This makes objects at all distances look blurry.
 

Compare the two images below:

Normal vision
 

Astigmatism vision
 

Treatment

Refractive errors like astigmatism were traditionally corrected with glasses and contacts. In the case of astigmatism, and particularly severe astigmatism, there used to be no other option, as laser eye surgery was generally unsuitable. 

However, thanks to the advanced laser eye surgery now available many people affected can now enjoy permanent vision correction and freedom from the hassles of glasses and contacts.

At Eye Institute we offer iLASIK as a treatment. It’s the safest and most advanced laser eye surgery available in New Zealand. 
 

 

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Make an appointment for your free iLASIK assessment today.

Call us on 0800 99 2020

Book now